The Rams were never at the races in this game. They looked lethargic and lacking in any ideas. Sheffield United came with a game plan, to get at Derby from the first whistle, which they did, never allowing the Rams to get into a rhythm .
The fact that Derby didn't have a shot on target during the whole of the first 45 minutes gives you the idea of how the game panned out. A well taken goal in the 15th minute from United's Richard Cresswell looked to be the first of many that the blades would score. However a combination of luck and poor finishing , sprinkled with several excellent stops from Stephen Bywater kept the score down to 0-1 at the break.
The Rams were booed off at the interval and it was a surprise that Nigel Clough hadn't made changes for the start of the second half. Derby continued to look for a goal with only Tomasz Cywka and Kris Commons with any attacking pedigree. Dean Moxey was the target man up front and the defender struggled as the Sheffield United defenders easily won every hoofed ball to him.
Alberto Bueno continued to warm up along the sidelines and it wasn't until after the hour mark he was introduced to the flailing Rams. Despite showing some very good touches he couldn't galvanise the Rams into finding an equaliser.
In fact Derby managed only one serious shot on the Blades goal all game, this by Kris Commons, which was followed by the loudest ironic applause and cheers of the day from the Rams faithful.
Derby need to improve greatly in their following games or it will quickly become yet another season where the Rams are looking over their shoulder at the wrong end of the table....